A little hope makes a huge difference in how you respond to daily stresses.
Having a tool such as LightSpeed Lift Body Weight Support provides positive feedback to the body and brain that all is not lost. You are not stuck. With a plan and persistence, you will improve your physical capacity and all the enjoyments that physical capability brings to life.
I was recently interviewed by a prospective Physical Therapy student. After asking me about the highs and lows of being a PT for the past 36 years, he asked me, “What is the biggest skill you have that helps patients get better?” My answer was, “The greatest goal in every session is to plant seeds of hope. Hope gives the brain energy and fuels recovery and improvement.”
It is easy to be discouraged after an injury that limits mobility. The body adopts different movement strategies. Pain signals flood the brain changing chemical and hormonal levels in the brain and body. Without hope, pain can easily become a self-perpetuating cycle.
“If it hurts to move, then what is the point? If I won’t get better, why keep after exercise and training?” Great progress is built upon incremental changes. As a therapist, I ask myself and the client, “what assistance can decrease movement pain and restriction. What tissues need to change? What muscles need to be stronger? What bones, tendons, and ligaments need stimulation to heal strong enough to return to preinjury levels?” But before I can implement any therapeutic plan, hope needs to be instilled in the client's psyche.
Setting goals and then having tools and a plan to assist in achieving those goals is central to every athlete's success. Hope must also be present in training plans to improve performance. It may at first seem unrealistic or even impossible to run 800 meters in under two minutes, or under 3 hours for a marathon, or run 1 mile, or walk 50 feet. Every one of us begins from a different place and needs to decide upon tools that give us hope of improving our capabilities for whatever reason that motivates us.
Begin with the person for whom pain or weakness makes walking a huge challenge. Often by applying 15 to 40 pounds of BWS -while also creating stability, the person’s overly guarded movement pattern- adopted response to pain or weakness, can be overcome. A smooth, coordinated gait is possible! The fearful, painful brain pattern is exchanged for efficiency and confidence. The improvement is not always monumental, but a spark of hope is ignited with the smallest incremental improvement. The person is motivated to keep working, showing up, and standing up with better posture and positivity.
- Examples of the hope phenomena include an addicted runner with a neck injury from work who had lost hope of ever running again and was slowly becoming depressed. With LightSpeed Lift BWS, he felt the old joy of running again, even if it was slow. He and his family were overjoyed, and he was motivated to continue.
- Another example is a woman who had both knees replaced. After six weeks, she was still unable to walk without a walker and had lost a good bit of her normal positive personality. Providing 25 pounds of BWS allows her to walk for the first time without holding on to her walking or experiencing significant knee pain. Her faith that the decision to replace the knees was correct was renewed. She stood taller, spoke positively, and redoubled her efforts to strengthen, knowing she would return to better than pre-surgery mobility. Hope fuels recovery.
Or consider the person with diabetes. They are 50 pounds overweight. They haven’t walked for exercise for years because walking has become painful and overly tiring. Besides, the sensation in their feet is diminished, so they fear losing balance and falling. Providing 25-40 pounds of BWS decreases the stress on their joints reduces the cardiovascular effort of walking so they can walk farther and faster. Also, with the stability of LightSpeed Lift, fear of falling is all but eliminated. To watch people enjoy movement and be motivated by movement without fear or pain is life-changing. I love the hope emanating from their bodies and the almost inevitable “LightSpeed Smile.” (Follow our hashtag #lightspeedsmile !)
Are you beginning a running program? Your joints, muscles, and cardiovascular system will appreciate the offloading that BWS provides, avoiding many injuries and ramping up your heart and lungs to be successful. Honestly, it’s discouraging to start a running program totally out of gas right after starting.
- Wanting to improve your running pace? When training with BWS, athletes can run one minute per mile faster at the same metabolic cost with less chance of overloading the musculoskeletal system. Learning and practicing running faster will aid faster running during “normal” road or trail running.
- Want to improve your tolerance for distance? Again the decrease in ground reaction forces experienced while running with BWS makes it possible to add distance with less chance of an overloading injury.
- How about improving your sprint or mid-distance speed? Running fast takes great coordination and strength. BWS offloading frees the body to move faster than they had ever thought possible without fear of falling.
Hope is yours; make it so!
Athletes love the advantage that BWS training provides. The body “learns” how to apply maximal force to the ground in the shortest amount of time to produce faster speed. Speed wins, whether on the football field, the soccer pitch, the basketball court, or the track. Give an athlete realistic hope of improving their performance, and they will follow plans with more energy and enthusiasm than expected.
Experience the excellent hope boost of LightSpeed BWS by using it in your journey or helping clients and friends. The world is a better place with hope and motion.